Book Awards

NorthWords Writers’ Festival Society offers two annual book awards that recognize the best the NWT has to offer. Established in 2010 the NorthWords Book Award recognizes an outstanding book, set in the North and published by an NWT author in the previous year. In 2017, with funding from NT Power Corporation, the NorthWords Youth Book Award was created to recognize outstanding youth literature. Winners are selected by an independent jury and are awarded a $1,000 prize. If a book has more than one author, the prize money will be divided between the authors.

Eligibility: A novel, children’s book, collection of short stories, poetry or essays, creative non-fiction or memoir that has northern themes and settings. The author must have a strong connection to the Northwest Territories by meeting one of the following criteria:

  1. Was raised and/or schooled in the NWT and maintains strong ties to the NWT
  2. Lived in the NWT for a period of at least five years
  3. Currently lives in the NWT and has for a minimum of 1 year prior to the year in which the book was released.

Submissions for the 2021 NorthWords Book Awards for books published in 2020 are now closed. Winners will be announced in September 2021.

If you require additional information, feel free to contact us at:

2020 Winners

From Bear Rock Mountain:

The Life and Times of a Dene Residential School Survivor

By Antoine Mountain
Published by TouchWood Editions

Sharing Our Truths

By Henry Beaver and Mindy Willett, with Eileen Beaver
Photographs by Tessa Macintosh
Published by Fifth House Books

2020 Finalists

Previous Recipients

  • True North Rising by Whit Fraser (2019 Adult)
  • A Journey Down the River by Rachel VanderVeen (2019 Youth)
  • Reawakening our Ancestors Line by Angela Hovak Johnson (2018 Adult)
  • When We Play Our Drums, They Sing by Richard Van Camp (2018 Youth)
  • How the Raven Returned the Sun by Crystal Doherty and Carla Taylor (2017)
  • Ramshackle by Alison McCreesh (2016)
  • Kinds of Winter by Dave Olesen (2015)
  • One of the most busiest ports in the North by Sandra Dolan (2014)
  • Nighthawk! by Jamie Bastedo (2013)
  • Body Trade by Margaret Macpherson (2012)
  • The Caribou Feed Our Soul by Pete Enzoe and Mindy Willett (2011)
  • Myth of the Barrens by Bren Kolson (2010)